Religious Life

Church of Apostles Peter and Paul

The main church of the village dedicated to Apostles Peter and Paul is located at the centre of the community. The church was built at the end of the 19th century, when Asgata was flourishing.

The inscription of the south entrance of the church indicates that it was built in 1865 when churchwarden was Costas Pyrros. As the stone sculpture of Costas Pyrros located above the inscription indicates, he was also president of the church and the main fund resource for the church to be built. Another inscription, located on the west entrance, as Antonis Kavazis mentions, holds that the church was completed in 1876 when Panayis Nicola was churchwarden. The same inscription indicates that the plot of land in which the church was built was donated by Hadjichristinou Hadjilouca.

According to Antonis Kavazis, the church architectonically falls under the “usual style followed in Cyprus at the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century”. Explicitly, it is a one-room church, built with local stone. What is impressive, is “the high bell-tower with three arches” and the “elaborate classical carving” which, according to the inscription, was added in 1900.

What is worth mentioning at this point is the tradition brought forward by the inhabitants as far as the bell-tower is concerned. Specifically, during Turkish domination, the taxes in villages were raised by Turkish soldiers, known as “tax collectors”, assigned by Turkish administration. Once, one of the tax collectors asked how to get to the next village as soon as he finished form Asgata. He asked an inhabitant from Asgata…however, this could only be achieved through a river. The soldier decided to swim across the river but he did not manage to do it and he drowned. Then, the man who showed him the way took the money and gave it for the bell-tower to be built. The man shouted “Fellow villagers, we found the money for the bell-tower!”. Thus, the bell-tower was built with the taxes collected by several villages in the area.

The internal of the church is “decorated with an exquisite wood-carved iconostasis, Episcopal throne, pulpit and faldstool”. They were all created by Sophocles Leptourgos. The internal staircases of the church were incorporated at the side walls leading to the “beautiful wooden seraglio, the roof and the pulpit”. It must be noted that the Episcopal throne and the faldstool were made in 1888 while the iconostasis in 1910.

Source:
Antonis Kavazis, “Asgata”, ed. Asgata Expartiates’ Association, Limassol 1992
Inhabitants of Asgata

Church of the Twelve Apostles

The oldest church of the community is dedicated to all Twelve Apostles. According to the inscription found on the south entrance of the church, the church was built in 1834 by master builder Demetris and churchwarden Christodoulis.

The church of the Twelve Apostles is known as the “old church”, because, as aforementioned, it is the oldest church of the community as well as “church of the cemetery”, because the cemetery is located in its yard.

The church is built at the end of the village, on an abrupt slope of the valley of Asgata’s river. It is a small basilica with one room, without windows and bell tower. Both its style and internal decoration are not really interesting, as he church was built really quickly by the noble owners, so as to cover the religious need of people living in the valley or around it. That is why the church is quite simple.

It is worth mentioning that some of the inhabitants if the village maintain that “the church was built on an abrupt site so that the river valley could be used as a shelter during Turkish invasions. They mention that in order to achieve protection from Turkish invasions, one of them always guarded one of the highest points of the village. When that person saw Turkish people coming, he shouted ‘Vamvakosporos’. Then everyone in the church would run to hide somewhere in the valley, thus, avoiding danger”.

What is more, the inhabitants of the village mention that “there was holy water just right below the church at the river bed”. Myrsine and oleander would grow around the holy water spring. The pilgrims used to hang their dedications, handkerchiefs and babies’ clothes on their branches.

Source:
Antonis Kavazis, “Asgata”, ed. Asgata Expartiates’ Association, Limassol 1992
Inhabitants of Asgata

Church of Agia Marina

The chapel dedicated to Saint Marina is located on the east part of the village, next to Arkosukia creek. This small chapel was built in 1935.

At the location where the inhabitants built the chapel, an icon of Saint Marina and a vigil candle were found kept in a big jar, a tub. It must be noted that the chapel was built because of the theatrical club of the community founded in 1932. The club gave its income and offered voluntary work to cover the expenses of the construction. The church was expanded in 1952 and in 1995, our co-inhabitant Mr. Michalakis Vassiliades built a new chapel at the place where the old one used to rest.

In his notes on Asgata, Costas Pyrros mentions that there was a church and a cemetery where the chapel dedicated to Saint Marina is located. However, according to Antonis Kavazis, this indication can not be verified. Pyrros’s indication is cited: “The idolatrous temples of Asgata would be found in Koupetra. Their surrounding space was used as a cemetery. When the people of Asgata became Christians, they built a church dedicated to Saint Marina. They used this church that was rebuilt numerous times, until 1834, when the old church dedicated to the Apostles was built. The present chapel is built on the exact place where the old chapel of Saint Marina used to be. If its surrounding space is ever given up for excavation, ruins of many churches will be found as well as the remains of many people of several times”.

Source:
Antonis Kavazis, “Asgata”, ed. Asgata Expartiates’ Association, Limassol 1992
Inhabitants of Asgata

Chapel of Agios Symeon and Agia Skepi

Στο περίβολο της εκκλησίας Πέτρου και Παύλου κτίστηκε το 2004 παρεκκλήσιο αφιερωμένο στην αγία Σκέπη και τον όσιο Συμεών τον νέο θεολόγο.Το παρεκκλήσι κτήστηκε με εθελοντική εργασία των οικοδόμων της κοινότητας οι οποίοι ανέλαβαν το κτήσιμο και εργάζοντο αφιλοκερδώς κάθε Σαββάτο,με οργανωτή τον πατέρα Νικόλαο,που φρόντιζε να στρωθεί το μεσημεριανό τραπέζι για το γεύμα των εργαζομένων ,με την βοήθεια όλων των γυναικών της κοινότητας.Το παρεκκλήσι χρησιμοποιείται ως εξομολογητήριο και γίνονται λειτουργίες συνήθως καθημερινές όταν δεν υπάρχει μεγάλο εκκλησίασμα.

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